An official connected to the delayed Olympic Games here has become the first resident of the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19.
The affected official has been placed into a 14-day quarantine, Tokyo 2020 said.
They had not tested positive upon arrival at the airport but a test taken in the screening process at the Village, located in Harumi, returned a positive result for COVID-19.
The case will come as a concern to organisers and the International Olympic Committee, which had promised the Village would be the “safest place” in Tokyo.
“We are making sure to do everything possible to ensure that there is no COVID-19 outbreak,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said.
“We are sparring no efforts.
“We are doing everything we can to prevent any outbreaks.
“If we end up with an outbreak, we will make sure we will have a plan in place to respond.”
Tokyo 2020 confirmed there had been 14 more confirmed new infections in Japan linked to the Games since July 1.
It brings the total number in that period to 44, with less than a week to go before the July 23 Opening Ceremony.
Of the 13 other positive cases, four were also from “Games connected personnel” – defined as “those affiliated with the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee, NOCs, NPCs, International Federations, members of the Olympic and Paralympic Family, partners, Olympic Broadcasting Services members, etc”.
Seven are contractors working on the Olympics, while the other two are members of the foreign media.
Tokyo yesterday recorded 1,271 new COVID-19 cases, marking the 27th day in a row where the tally is higher than a week prior.
It was also the third straight day where the total number of infections has topped 1,000.
At least five athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving in the Japan for the Games, while the Refugee Olympic Team delayed its travel to Tokyo after one of its delegation also returned a positive test.
Teams from several other nations have been forced into isolation due to COVID-19 issues, raising concerns over the impact of the virus on athletes who are set to compete at the Games.
Large sections of the Japanese public have signalled their opposition to the Olympics and Paralympics going ahead, with calls for cancellation a common theme in the run-up to the Opening Ceremony.
Health experts have warned the Games could become a “super-spreader” event, while Shigeru Omi, the Japanese Governments top COVID-19 advisor, has warned staging the Olympics during a pandemic is “abnormal”.
The IOC and organisers have faced criticism for pressing ahead with organising the event during the pandemic, but have insisted the measures that will be implemented will ensure the Games are “safe and secure”.
The IOC has also cited its vaccination programme, where it has attempted to secure jabs for Olympic participants, as a reason for optimism.
It has claimed 85 per cent of residents in the Olympic Village have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
IOC President Thomas Bach has claimed there is “zero” risk of the virus spreading to the Japanese population because of the COVID-19 countermeasures in place at the Games.
Hashimoto admitted some athletes who have not yet travelled to Tokyo “are probably very worried” about the situation in the Olympic and Paralympic host city.
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